10 home energy technology companies to receive $63 million in ecomagination Challenge


Beth Comstock,
Senior VP & Chief
Marketing Officer, GE
New York, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 24, 2011 – Ten home energy technology companies are to receive a total of $63 million investment from GE and its venture capital partners and five companies will each receive a $100,000 grant to further develop innovative technologies in the second round of funding under GE’s $200 million ecomagination Challenge.

The ten new commercial partner companies and their technologies include:

  • Ember of Boston, MA, for its wireless communications technology connecting devices, homes and the grid
  • GMZ Energy of Waltham, MA, for its heat-to-electricity converter to capture solar energy
  • Hara of San Mateo, CA, for its software for reducing energy, water, waste, and carbon
  • Nuventix of Austin, TX for its LED cooling system
  • OnRamp Wireless of San Diego, CA, for its wireless communications system
  • Project Frog of San Francisco, CA, for its pre-fabricated green buildings
  • SunRun of San Francisco, CA, for its residential solar services
  • Viridity Energy of Conshohocken, PA, for its “virtual power plants” that help integrate renewable power
  • VPhase of Manchester, U.K., for its household energy control device
  • WiTricity of Watertown, MA, for its wireless charging solution for EVs and consumer electronics.

The five Innovation Award winners are:

  • e.quinox of London, U.K., for its energy and clean water “kiosk”. e.quinox a student-run initiative, aims to bring renewable energy to developing countries through off-grid, stand-alone photovoltaic systems
  • PlotWatt of Durham, NC, for its cognitive metering to slash energy bills project, which is developing software that identifies energy usage of appliances and provides customized money saving recommendations
  • Pythagoras Solar of San Mateo, CA, for its solar window technology, which simultaneously delivers energy efficiency and solar energy generation
  • Suntulit of Freemont, CA, for its air conditioning control system, which uses data such as room temperature and occupants of a room to learn user needs and offer ways to reduce utility bills by as much as 30 percent
  • Xergy of Georgetown, DE, for a cutting edge refrigeration compressor, which could reduce energy consumption by as much as 65 percent.

This phase of the Challenge, “Powering Your Home,” was launched in January as part of a commitment to improve household energy efficiency through new technologies, and brings the total amount invested or committed to $134 million in the home energy and power grid technology sectors.

The Challenge also has led to 22 new commercial partnerships, and the acquisition of FMC-Tech, a smart grid technology company from the first phase.
“After one year and $134 million committed to new partners, we delivered on our goal to scale and commercialize the best new ideas through open innovation,” said Beth Comstock, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, GE. “The power of networked ideas, collaboration and partnerships to accelerate innovation represents a gathering force whose impact will be a significant driver in the future of business.”

GE has also announced an additional commitment of $20 million to fund commercial pilots with innovators that have been found through the Challenge, which will be taken forward through a new ecomagination Innovation Council.

GE and its venture capital partners also plan to launch a region-specific ecomagination Challenge in China later this year, as well to establish a $5 million seed fund in Europe with the Carbon Trust to provide support for early stage ideas that need assistance getting off the ground.